Grant Thornton’s Rashada Whitehead named a Notable Leader in DEI


Crain’s Chicago Business honored Whitehead for implementing an “all-encompassing approach” to diversity, equity and inclusion


CHICAGO — Rashada Whitehead, Grant Thornton’s national managing principal of Culture, Immersion & Inclusion, has been named a “Notable Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)” by Crain’s Chicago Business. The award profiles Chicago-area leaders who find novel ways to advance DEI work and foster an environment that represents all people.


As a member of Grant Thornton’s Senior Leadership Team, Whitehead drives the firm’s DEI strategy and helps create a culture of belonging at the firm. She has helped broaden its recruitment efforts and ensured career paths for new and experienced professionals to find success in the organization. In addition, she has redefined the onboarding process as a sustained investment that focuses on enhancing the employee experience while centering around values and a best-in-class culture. 


Whitehead has also designed and implemented new inclusion policies and led multiple strategic initiatives at the firm. And she spearheaded Grant Thornton’s inaugural DEI report: a benchmark that outlines specific and actionable DEI aspirations.


“Rashada has been steadfast in weaving DEI into everything that we do as a firm,” said Jeanna Shapiro, Grant Thornton’s chief people officer. “She has been integral to advancing a strong and unique culture at our firm — one that allows our talented professionals to bring the full strength of Grant Thornton to our clients and to each other every day.”


“DEI is a critical tenet of a strong, thriving and high-integrity culture, and as such, it is my mission to ensure that every aspect of our firm takes that into account,” said Whitehead. “I am humbled to receive this honor from Crain’s Chicago Business, and I hope it empowers others to see how imperative DEI is for a positive workplace — and how it can create a more equitable future for all.”


A lifelong Chicagoan, Whitehead serves as a mentor for several organizations focused on the city’s children. For almost ten years, she has been an adjunct professor at Chicago’s Roosevelt University. She received the “Most Valuable Professor” award for part-time instructors in 2016.



About Grant Thornton LLP

Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is one of America’s largest providers of audit and assurance, tax and advisory services — and the U.S. member firm of the Grant Thornton International Ltd global network. We go beyond the expected to make business more personal and build trust into every result. With revenues of $2.4 billion for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2023, and almost 50 offices nationwide, Grant Thornton is a community of more than 9,000 problem solvers who value relationships and are ready to help organizations of all sizes and industries create more confident futures. Because, for us, how we serve matters as much as what we do. 


“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.




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